Tyson Foods Hired Foreign Workers Over US Citizens: America First Legal
Tyson Foods Hired Foreign Workers Over US Citizens: America First Legal

By Katabella Roberts

Tyson Foods is unlawfully discriminating against U.S. citizens by disproportionately hiring “foreign workers,” a conservative group has claimed.

In complaint letters sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Iowa Civil Rights Commission on Wednesday, America First Legal (AFL) called for an investigation into the Springdale, Arkansas-based meatpacker and its alleged employment practices.

AFL also sent a cease and desist letter to Tyson’s CEO, Donnie King, and board of directors, demanding they comply with federal employment, immigration, and securities laws.

In the letters, AFL claimed that the Biden Administration has “opened America’s borders to millions of illegal aliens and ’refugees,’” which in turn has led to an increase in human trafficking, prostitution, child labor, and other issues.

“Biden’s program of open borders and abusively generous refugee admissions threatens our national security, brings crime and chaos to our neighborhoods, and undermines the rule of law. It punishes our blue-collar workers by massively expanding the labor pool and driving down American wages,” AFL stated in the complaint.

“Yet some ostensibly American corporations have chosen to support Biden’s program to reap the benefits of artificially cheapened labor, with reckless disregard for the law and the human consequences of their conduct,” the group continued, adding that Tyson is “one such company.”

Tyson ‘Favored Aliens’ Throughout Labor Supply Chain

Elsewhere in their letters, AFL went on to state that Tyson has represented to its shareholders, investors, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that “citizenship is a motivating factor in its employment and contracting practices.”

However, there is “significant evidence” that the company has “for years favored aliens (allegedly including alien minors) over American citizens throughout its labor supply chain,” the organization wrote.

During 2023 and 2024, the company reportedly committed $1.5 million per year for legal aid services for foreign workers and provided paid time off for when they attended court hearings, AFL said.

According to a November 2022 press release from the company regarding the $1.5 million commitment, the funding supports Tyson’s non-profit organization partners in helping provide immigrants with legal services, such as employment authorization renewals and petitions for citizenship.

“Tyson does not provide similar benefits to American citizens,” AFL wrote in its letter.

The letters also cited reports claiming that Tyson employs 42,000 foreign workers, making up more than one-third of its workforce in the United States, and is involved in various programs and projects aimed at recruiting more.

They also noted that a major food sanitation company, Packers Sanitation Services, Inc., was fined $1.5 million in 2023 by the U.S. Department of Labor for employing at least 102 children between the ages of 13 to 17 to work overnight shifts at 13 meat processing plants in eight states.

The plants are operated by producers such as JBS Foods and Tyson, among others, the department said. Tyson Foods was not fined under those penalties or accused of any wrongdoing.

Tyson Foods employees are seen wearing protective masks and standing between plastic dividers at the company’s poultry processing plant in Camilla, Ga., in a file photo. (Tyson Foods via AP)

Companies Should ‘Put America and Her People First’

Concluding its letters, AFL accused Tyson of violating federal and Iowa laws that ban employers from discriminating based on citizenship status, race, national origin, and other traits. They also accused the company of violating child labor laws.

According to its official website, AFL is led by Stephen Miller, the organization’s president who previously served as an immigration adviser under former President Donald Trump.

Other members of the organization include Reed D. Rubinstein who served as deputy associate attorney general in the Trump administration.

In a statement on Wednesday, AFL’s senior vice president and director of oversight and investigations, Mr. Rubinstein, said: “Perhaps Tyson’s leaders consider themselves global citizens who live and work in the United States by happenstance.

“That is their right. But transnational pretensions are not a license to discriminate against whites, men, or American citizens; neither does economic power justify policies and practices that undermine or circumvent our immigration and child labor laws.”

“Our citizens and consumers deserve companies that put America and her people first; AFL will not stop fighting for this cause,” he added.

The Justice Department, the EEOC, and the Iowa Civil Rights Commission are not obligated to respond to the complaints or investigate the allegations made against Tyson Foods by the AFL.

A spokesperson for Tyson Foods told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement: “Tyson Foods is strongly opposed to illegal immigration, and we do not allow the employment of anyone under the age of 18 in any of our facilities.”

“Any insinuation that we would discriminate against Americans to hire immigrant workers is completely false,” the statement continued. “Today Tyson Foods employs 120,000 team members in the United States, all of whom are required to be legally authorized to work in this country.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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